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COST OF LIVING

The cost of living in the UK, and especially in London, is often perceived to be very high. This applies particularly to students from Nepal, many of whom may have to work to pay for their degrees. However, there is a wide variety of choices available for those who wish to manage their living costs. Prices listed below are based on London costs; other areas are likely to be cheaper.

Accommodation

Bedsits
Usually self-contained rooms in which you study, cook, eat, and sleep. Normally costs between 200 to 240 per month.

Flats/houses
May be either private or owned by the institution you are studying at. You will have a study/bedroom but will share all other facilities in the house. Normally costs between 100 to 280 per month.

Halls of residence
Halls of residence host many students in single or shared study/bedrooms. Some meals or cooking facilities will be provided and bathrooms may be shared. Normally costs between 280 to 320 per month.

Homestay
You will have a study/bedroom in a home, becoming, to some extent, part of the family. Some meals will be provided although you will have to fit into the routine of the family. Normally costs between 300 to 360 per month.

Hostels
Hostels are privately owned and are similar to halls of residence, providing some meals or self-catering facilities and rooms for married students. Normally costs between 280 to 320 per month.

Independent boarding schools/colleges
Most schools will have on-site accommodation, the cost of which is included in the boarding school fee.

Books
If you are enrolled in an English language course, your textbooks will usually be supplied free of charge. Otherwise, you will have to buy your books or borrow them from the college library. If you choose to buy books, then many bookstores offer student discounts (student ID required). Alternatively, you may find your textbooks in second-hand stores.

Clothing
While most international students arrive with some clothing suitable for the British climate, you will probably find that you need to buy more, particularly if you find that the British winter (colder in the north) is colder than what you were accustomed to in Nepal. High street shops sell good-quality clothes at reasonable prices, and the big sales during January and July offer many items at half-price. As a guide, non-sale prices are as follows: a woolly jumper (sweater) can cost about 20, jeans about 25 upwards, and shoes about 35–45. Again, charity shops (eg Oxfam, Save the Children) may be a cheap option for second-hand clothes, especially for coats and jackets.

Food
Most cities in the UK have a multicultural and multi-ethnic population so you can expect to find a wide range of reasonably priced food from around the world. Costs average 80 per month for vegetarians and 100 per month for meat-eaters.

Travel

Air
Air travel within the UK is only viable over longer distances, for example London to Edinburgh. Most major cities have airports with international links. Cheap flights within the UK or Europe may be available with airlines such as Ryan Air or Easy Jet. For further information, try one of the following:
www.istc.org
www.itn.net
www.abtanet.com

Coach
Coach travel using national and international links is cheaper than rail travel but can take a little longer. Reduced fares are available to students (aged between 16 and 25) through the student coach card available from National Express. For further information, try one of the following:
www.travel-uk.co.uk
www.istc.org
www.abtanet.com

Train
Britain’s rail services rival that of any country in the world and, except in very rural areas, nowhere is more than a few miles from a railway station. A Young Person's railcard, valid for a year, gives reductions on standard rail fares. The opening of the Channel Tunnel has made possible rail travel to continental Europe. For further information, try one of the following:
www.travel-uk.co.uk
www.eurail.com
www.eurotunnel.com
www.istc.org
www.abtanet.com

Ferry
Almost every port from the south coast operates a ferry service across the English Channel to continental Europe. Scandinavia and northern Europe can be reached from ports in northern England. For further information, try one of the following:
www.istc.org
www.abtanet.com

Entertainment

The UK is rich in culture and history; from London's West End theatres and national events to local bars, restaurants and nightclubs the UK can offer any form of entertainment. The Student Union at higher education institutions look to provide a range of sports activities, visits and days out for all students and may run special social programmes for their international students. For further information, try one of the following:
www.uktw.co.uk
www.timeout.co.uk

 

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